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Be Your Authentic Self: Part 2

Written by Andrew Le, MD

PublishedOctober 3, 2021

Welcome to the CEO Corner, where Buoy CEO and Cofounder Andrew Le, MD sits down with industry leaders to chat about the provocative topics of healthcare today. Andrew recently spoke with Patrice Harris, MD, CEO and Cofounder of the digital health care company eMed, Former President of The American Medical Association (AMA), and a practicing child and adolescent psychiatrist. In Part 1, Dr. Harris shared her views about creating a better mental health system, especially for communities of color and physicians on the frontlines of care. In Part 2, Dr. Harris talks about promising developments in the overdose crisis, the importance of evaluation, and why health professionals should look at their own communication about complex health topics.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Andrew Le, MD: Do you see digital health as a tool to help us do more to support the health of Black communities and communities of color?

Dr. Patrice Harris: The AMA and the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] have both clearly identified racism as a public health issue. We need to continue conversations about how systems interact to impact health. We are used to communicating over Zoom now, but I think the difficult conversations need to happen in person. This is a complicated challenge that requires work on a lot of fronts.

A silver lining to the pandemic is that a lot of support groups and physician appointments moved to telehealth. That increased access to some sources of care. But a lot of folks in rural areas don't have broadband. Some folks in the inner city can’t afford a data plan. That’s the promise and the peril of digital health solutions.

“A silver lining to the pandemic is that a lot of support groups and physician appointments moved to telehealth.”

Dr. Patrice Harris

Andrew: Absolutely. You have experience working with the AMA Opioid Task Force. How did the pandemic impact patients who are dealing with the opioid crisis? What can we learn from that moving forward?